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FROM: INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA, Box 241, Hyannis, NE 69350 Phone: 308-282-2826

Media Contact: Mary Mulligan (402) 967-3464; Email:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 20, 2006


(Ogallala, NE)-Senator Bob Kremer, Chairman of the Unicameral's Agriculture Committee, hosted a day-long informal meeting of cattlemen and others involved in the beef industry in Ogallala on September 7th. The discussion centered on brand laws and animal ID. Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) was well represented at the meeting by Directors Al Davis and Bob Rothwell of Hyannis and John O'Dea of McCook.

Senator Kremer was seeking recommendations for the Ag Committee on this summer's study resolutions. Representatives in attendance were from Nebraska Cattlemen, Tyson Foods, Nebraska Brand Committee, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Nebraska Livestock Marketing Association, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and Nebraska Farm Bureau in addition to several independent producers. Senators Erdman, Stuthman, and Louden were also present.

Discussion held in the morning pertained to Legislative Resolution 329, an examination of the requirements for movement of livestock into and out of the brand inspection area. Steve Stanec, Executive Director for the Nebraska Brand Committee, explained the current Nebraska brand document requirements which prove ownership, and what documents must be presented to the Brand Inspector at the time of sale. Stanec stated that the Commission could decide what documentation is sufficient. The consensus of those present was that there should be no legislative action taken to water down title documents by allowing a photocopy of the title as sufficient proof of ownership.

After lunch, those attending discussed LR 415, a study to examine and address issues associated with implementation of an animal identification program. Representatives of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture gave updates on the current level of voluntary participation in the premises ID program. Participants also discussed methods to increase participation. ICON directors and producers expressed concern regarding the costs to producers, markets, and other segments of the livestock industry.

"We (ICON) are grateful for the opportunity to participate and provide input on behalf of Nebraska cattle producers. Our comments and concerns about NAIS (mandatory ID) seemed to be taken seriously by the Senators hosting the meeting." Davis said.

Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska opposes a mandatory National Animal ID system and supports existing animal identification methods, including, but not limited to, brands, and brand inspection. ICON suggests that any national identification program be voluntary, market driven and administered by the USDA.